News

14 June 2024

1,500 Ottoman Manuscripts Repaired in Algeria Thanks to TİKA

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) identified, classified, repaired and digitalized 1,500 manuscripts from the Ottoman period in the city of Laghouat, Algeria.

Under the coordination of TİKA and in cooperation with the Manuscript Institution of Türkiye and the Center for Research in Islamic Sciences and Civilization in Algeria, a training program on the identification, classification, repair, preservation, digitalization of Ottoman manuscripts was organized in city of the Laghouat, Algeria. Twenty-two academicians and experts attended the training program.

Throughout the program, 1,500 manuscripts from the Ottoman period were cleaned, maintained and classified. Efforts are still ongoing to publish the manuscripts as a catalog, with most of them already digitalized.

Academicians and staff of the center who attended the training received their certificates at a ceremony held at the Center for Research in Islamic Sciences and Civilization.

TİKA’s Coordinator in Algeria, Gökçen Kalkan; the Director of Konya Regional Directorate of the Manuscript Institution of Türkiye, Bekir Şahin and the Director of the Center for Research in Islamic Sciences and Civilization in Algeria, Ahmet Binsağir attended the certificate ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, TİKA’s Coordinator Kalkan noted that manuscripts were systematically destroyed in all cities of Algeria during the French occupation, and underlined that only a few of them could be preserved in some mosques, zawiyas and houses, reaching the present day.

Kalkan said, “Following TİKA’s project, many individuals from Algeria’s various cities contacted our office to inform us that they also owned manuscripts. This project has brought to the attention of researchers numerous works which will shed light on the shared Turkish-Algerian history and cultural richness by unearthing, preserving and digitizing them. The project has also greatly raised awareness about manuscripts in Algeria.”

The Director of the Center for Research in Islamic Sciences and Civilization in Algeria, Bensağir expressed his gratitude to TİKA, Türkiye’s Ambassador to Algeria, Muhammet Mücahit Küçükyılmaz and the Manuscript Institution of Türkiye for their support of the project.

Bensağir said, “The project raised awareness about manuscripts in Algeria, especially in Laghouat. Many people brought manuscripts that they owned to the center. Thanks to this project, it will be possible to establish a library, where manuscripts from all Sahara cities will be collected, within the Center for Research in Islamic Sciences and Civilization in Laghouat, Algeria.”

The Director of Konya Regional Directorate of the Manuscript Institution of Türkiye, Bekir Şahin noted that the city of Laghouat is a treasure in terms of manuscripts. He said, “I believe we have made significant progress in preserving these works and making them available for researchers. I am very pleased with the interest, concern and sincerity I experienced throughout the project.”

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